2nd NSK State Folk Art Biennale: NSK Folk Art Rising 1916-2016
The 2nd NSK State Folk Art Biennale will be held at Burren College of Art, Ireland, in 2016

June 30 – August 5, Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, Ireland


The NSK State in Time was created in 1992 as a conceptual art project of the Neue Slowenische Kunst collective (founded in Ljubljana in 1984). It was intended as response to the break up of Yugoslavia and was also the natural culmination of NSK’s state-like artistic actions of the previous years. As a virtual state in time and without territory, the NSK State interrogates nationalism, ideology and the relationship between authority and utopian desire in relation to social formations. Since its formation over 14,000 people have become NSK citizens and they have increasingly self-organised in the wake of the 1st NSK Citizens’ Congress in Berlin in 2010, and the 1st NSK Folk Art Biennale in Leipzig in 2014. Other recent citizen-organised events have taken place in Lyon, London, Manchester and New York. Alongside founding NSK collective members, the Biennale featured NSK Folk Art, works generated by NSK citizens who appropriated, reprocessed and redeployed NSK aesthetics, state iconography and motifs to critically examine the contemporary nation state and the often ambiguous nature of the radical alternative posed by the NSK State in Time.

The 2nd NSK State Folk Art Biennale will be held at Burren College of Art, Ireland, in 2016. The Burren (or Boireann in Irish) means “stony place,” and is a limestone landscape of cairns, dolmens, and other megalithic structures. A catalyst in the development of the 2nd NSK Folk Art Biennale was the fact that geology in this region has been classified as karst, a word derived from the Kras region in Slovenia, and that karstological terms of Slovene origin like doline and polje have entered the common parlance for local geographic features.

The Biennale will be the second major NSK related event in Ireland, following NSK events held in 2004 in conjunction with the expansion of the European Union, including an exhibition, performances, and the opening of an NSK passport office in Dublin.

NSK citizens and collaborators are invited to submit artwork or proposals for the generation of new work for the Biennale. As 2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland, the rebellion that set in motion the chain of events leading to the partition of the country and creation of the modern Irish state, works featuring visual and cultural tropes relating to the Irish state are particularly welcome. We anticipate that the Biennale will contribute to a dynamic period of critical reflection on the past, present and future of the Irish state and the idea of the contemporary nation state in an increasingly fragmented Europe and polarized global context. The Biennale will also include a programme of events, discussions, performances, and activities to coincide with the exhibition, including artist-led walks through the unique Karst landscape.

The Biennale Organising Committee is particularly interested in artworks and proposals that engage the following themes:

  • The ongoing aesthetic and conceptual development of the NSK State in Time.
  • The contemporary state as it relates to the question of territory/geography in a global context defined by rising nationalism, fortified boundaries and social instability.
  • The 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland and its aftermath, encompassing themes of revolution, war, colonialism/post-colonialism, monuments and memorialisation.
  • Topography, geomorphology/physiography, experimental cartography, hypothetical land-art proposals or works engaging landscape.

Artists are welcome to submit existing works for exhibition or to propose new works for the Biennale. All submissions and proposals must be received by 1 March 2016. NSK Citizens are encouraged to apply, though NSK citizenship is not a requirement.

Successful applicants will be notified by April 1, and decisions made by the Organising Committee will be final.

Successful entries will be digitally based (film, sound, web-based or other new media) or 2-D works (posters, prints, drawing or photography). 2-D works may be mailed or should be reproducible via large-format digital printer. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, and artists seeking exceptions will be responsible for the transport/delivery and collection of their work.

A complete application should consist of the following:

  • Name & Contact Information (please state if you are an NSK Citizen)
  • One Page Resume or Short Bio
  • 3-5 Images or video/audio clips
  • 300 Word Artwork Description or Exhibition Proposal

Documents may be sent as word documents or PDFs. Images should be sent as jpeg files, no larger than 300 DPI. Video/audio files should be sent via a fileshare url. Complete applications should be sent to NSK.FAB2@gmail.com with the phrase 2nd NSK State Folk Art Biennale in the message subject header.